Anyone who has planted onion starts knows how time consuming and aggravating it can be to separate those tiny green threads and plant each one separately in even-ish rows. The work is back breaking but necessary to ensure the onions have enough space to grow to their full potential.
The third or fourth time that my indefatigable husband read my manuscript, he commented, “I’m not saying it’s bad, but you have a lot of adverbs.” My first reaction was to deny it but when he started highlighting them, I began to consider why I use so many. I think I use adverbs because they seem more efficient. As an attorney, I have been trained to eliminate unnecessary words, and adverbs tell the story of “how” so much more quickly than showing it. Revisiting my manuscript to examine and eliminate many of the adverbs is painstaking, but maybe it’s necessary, just like separating the onions, so the action can speak for itself. In thinking about this, I found the following websites helpful:
And for those interested in learning how to plant onions (they are very rewarding):
For my entire life, people have told me to be patient. Now, I tell my daughters to be patient, to wait their turns, to try not to interrupt. But I sympathize with them because when you have something to contribute, you want to contribute it right now, before you forget or the moment passes or someone else says what you were going to say. While we view interrupting as inconsiderate, interrupting is also a sign of excitement and engagement in the conversation. That’s what I tell myself anyway, when my mouth runs away, and I interject yet again. I don’t mean to be rude; I’m showing you how interesting you are! Or maybe I am just impatient.
It’s been over six weeks since I submitted my first manuscript to a publisher seeking unagented submissions, and waiting for a response is almost unbearable. I know that six weeks is not a long time in the publishing world but it feels like a year. It’s embarrassing how many times I have checked and re-checked that I actually emailed my submission to the correct address. Or how many times I have checked the publisher’s twitter feed for some indication of how many manuscripts they received and that they are, in fact, reviewing them. I’m desperate to know whether there is any chance that this will work for me and that I can make a living doing what I want to do. As I wait, I read more about the publishing world and particularly appreciate Susan Dennard’s site, which contains a wealth of information (including what to do when you are waiting): http://susandennard.com/writing-resources/
In the meantime, I will remind myself to be patient (and try not to interrupt)!
For my first Instagram post (yes, I’m about eight years behind the curve–again, no one should hire me to predict trends), I posted a quote from one of my favorite poems: The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. When I was in college, I went so far as to type the whole thing in rainbow ink, print and tape it together in multiple sheets, and hang it on my dorm room wall. Needless to say, I had a lot more disposable time back then, but that is not the point. The point is this poem has always resonated with me in multiple ways, from the subject’s social insecurity to his inability to act decisively. I joined Instagram in an attempt to connect with the world as I pursue something I have always wanted to do–writing–but never believed was possible in a practical universe. This pursuit may not disturb the universe at large but it certainly has disrupted me.
For almost as long as blogging as been a “thing,” I have resisted it, skeptical that anyone would ever be interested in reading about another, regular person’s daily life, particularly mine. Then again, I also thought Facebook and the ipad would never catch on, so maybe my instincts are not the best. Once I realized that blogging was indeed a “thing” and that in fact, I enjoyed learning more about some of my favorite authors and artists and all-around interesting people, I began to reconsider whether I should start my own. I worry about maintaining privacy and giving strangers access to criticize but then I remember that the antidote to negative speech is more speech. More positive speech, more productive speech, more supportive speech. To that end, I look forward to sharing and connecting with you!